Preview of photos to come

I spent most of the afternoon getting photos ready to post online.
I am halfway through our weekend away, lol.
Here we are before the wedding.


So that was easier...

...than posting the regular way.

We are down here in Baltimorefor a family wedding. It was last night. I have a new sister-in-law. Dh's only brother got married and we welcomed his new bride into our rather large family. I wonder if she knows what she is getting into, lol.

Spring has sprung here (even thought they got at least 4" of snow back home, hahaha). I've taken pictures of what has budded already. I'm trying to convince dh to stop at the nearby highway on ramp to collect the 5 birds' nests I saw on low branches. I know Dawn would love them! LOL

We're heading to the Inner Harbor today for some boy-focused fun. They are looking forward to seeing the USS Constellation and history museums.

See you from home on Monday.

This is just a test

We are in Baltimore. In my notes, it says I can post a blog via email, so I am trying this. More to follow if it actually works. Julie


In the mail AND works in progress

Getting the mail has been fun the last few days.

While roaming around Etsy and looking for local artisans, I bought catnip from the organic Wildenblue Farm to use in cat toys made from my yarn stash. My "neighbor" Laura so thoughtfully included the lovely feathers.

From my sister, also named Laura, I received this beautifully knitted scarf. Goes great with my Harris tweed coat. I just hope the weather warms up so I don't have to wear it much until fall.

On the works-in-progress (WIP) front, I've got lots going on. I started this yo-yo doll weeks before St. Patricks' Day but I still have no idea what I'm going to use for a head. I'm kicking myself for not picking up the elfin plastic head that sat in my favorite thrift store's craft box for months. When I went back last week, it was gone. It would've been perfect.

I reprinted and framed my dh's Christmas prints. Or at least started framing them. I put them in an old green window with a weathered board and 4 white ceramic door knobs at the bottom. Still need to find something for the missing center pane. This is one of those projects that kind of evolves if I leave it sitting out, so I know it will come together eventually.

The pretty little slips laundered perfectly so I pulled out gauzy fabrics and bought some accessories to turn them into fairy princess costumes. I'm not sure if I will add actual wings but know I will make each one a matching gauzy floral headband and probably a brooch to attach to the dress.

While being creative, I have actually cleaned up my studio space a bit. I at least made neater piles, lol. I also set out more things to work on -- tote bags, vintage children's book pages to frame and hobnail lamps that need decorated shades.


Welcome spring

The day didn't start out so great. I was up most of the night with a boy who had a tummy ache. It wasn't too bad until he suddenly developed a rash on his torso and Benadryl made him throw up. At 5:30am, I headed out to the few 24-hour stores to get chewables. I forgot that it was the morning after a holiday and they were all closed until 7am.

He had fallen back to sleep while I was gone the first time and when I got back from a second trip out, the rash was gone. My outing wasn't in vain. These beauties were with the rest of the Easter items -- priced at 99¢ a bunch. A little bit of spring sunshine. And they smell great, even all the way across the room.

No, the Peeps below aren't the only candy my boys didn't eat yesterday. They are actually from last year. When the kids took out the plastic Easter eggs last week, these green babies were still safely tucked inside two of them. Rock hard, preserved forever so it seems. Should I pack them back up with the rest of the decorations?


Robins usher in spring

Since the ground is still snow covered we haven't seen too many real robins yet. When Dawn offered vintage images on her site, I grabbed downloaded the robin and cardinal pages.

I immediately printed out copies so I could figure out what exactly to do with them. I knew I wanted to so something inspired by Dawn's own beautiful work.

First, I put portions of the image into a little leather photo holder I found just last week. They fit perfectly. The photo wallet is so buttery soft, I love to hold it in my hands.

For this reason, I wanted it to be removable from the rest of the piece. I created a handle from a bit that has crocheted knobs and plastic links and some copper wire. I also decorated the outside with an image of the nest on top of a robin's-egg-blue button, trimmed in lace.

I then created a tower from three wooden spools of pale blue thread, topped with another button. Then it was time to find a base for my piece. The Syracuse China saucer is decorated in the same colors that are in the robin print.

I layered scalloped blue paper, "Loving You" sheet music and the image of the robins, applying and sealing them with Mod Podge and aging it all with a bit of paint.

Lastly, I added some vintage hand-tatted trim with the letters R-O-B-I-N in Scrabble R.S.V.P. game cubes and glued the spools to the plate.

After taking the original pictures, I set the whole thing on top of this chocolate brown coffee mug. I think the whole thing would be perfect for holding jewelry or crafting bits and pieces, hiding away the things you don't want out inside the mug.

I will list it on Etsy soon. Welcome spring!

This is for my parents

It's funny that I use the picture of my twin sister and I in our "Bunny Hop" tap dance costumes as my Easter greeting every year.

When my parents decorate their house in Florida, out comes the "formal" Montgomery Ward portrait of us in full regalia. I actually remember going to get it taken. We probably garnered lots of attention.My only other memory of any dance class I had was of the ears falling off my head mid-performance. That's me on the end next to the instructor. Doesn't she make a lovely bunny too? LOL

And since they have doled out all the family photos, here are some more Easter shots for my mom and dad.

In this one, we were just a few months older than my youngest is now.

Here we are with my older sister and brother and almost 1yo younger brother.

This was the year I was 3. We are with my great-grandmother, my new younger sister and two cousins.

The last photo is from 1972. My twin and I were 5 and it was the same spring we did the "Bunny Hop."

Happy Easter, Mom and Dad.


I'll get around to finishing Christmas gifts

My poor dh always has to wait for his gifts to get finished long after I "give" them to him. Case in point, I bought these on eBay before the holidays with plans of framing them ASAP. Is nearly 4 months later considered ASAP?

Before kids and work and other activities took over his life, he was a model railroader. Everything has been pushed aside or packed up in the basement until he has the time for it. Maybe when he retires.

I thought these magazine pages of the turn-of-the-century railroads in our area might make a nice addition to his office. Personally, I fell in love with the Gibson Girl overlooking "our lake."

I'm on the search for the perfect frames right now but I just might use a 3-paned window. The center glass is broken so I need to figure out what to put in there. A message board or blackboard? Maybe I'll create a shelf on which to put a model engine?

Or I could ask him what he prefers, lol.


On the business front

Like many people, I'm really fed up with eBay. It's not worth it to list things given the fees and time involved. I'm reserving it for larger items that I know will sell and make it worth the effort

I'm listing quite a bit on Etsy and it's been hit or miss. I find vintage things and how-to books tend to sell better there than my handmade items. I'm trying not to be disheartened by the lack of sales. I hope it is just a matter of finding my niche and, hopefully, my other sales will boost my feedback and get my name out there.

I spent time today trying to optimize my store. I added a banner of work I've done in the past. And listed some more items.

(I don't know why it is so small here, lol.)

Lots of pretty trays, including this one with tropical cockatoos.

Kitschy items like this owl key holder.

Ephemera, like this deck of cards.
(Which sold right away.)

And books, like this one on making skirts.

(Can you also tell I've been playing with layout and photo sizing on Blogger. Needs more work, lol. I've tried 6 times to fix it and can't. ROTFL!)

I'm working with my shopmates on Collage to see how we can generate more traffic on our site. What started out with good intentions has kind of petered out.

I'm also doing more research on Hyena Cart forums to see what products of mine would work there. So far, it seems, re-purposing clothing into children's clothing would be popular.

Dawn just opened a store on eCrater, a free online marketplace. I'll look into it when I get the time. Same goes for big cartel which caters to the artistic crowd.

And I haven't even begun to think about the local craft fair season coming up. Ugh, I feel like my focus is so scattered.


I don't knit but have a yarn stash

Aren't they soft and purty?

I got them for 10¢ a skein at a Salvation Army garage sale
(at the actual SA, not their thrift store).

Most of them are angora, alpaca or mohair blends.

I dug them out of a bag of at least 200 skeins of yarn.

It's been fun rolling them into yarn balls over the past few days.

I have crochet hooks somewhere and used to know how to do a chain stitch so I may try that with some of it. I also want to try needle felting.

Dh can't complain they are taking up room.

I have them stashed inside a suitcase in our bedroom.
I didn't realize how gorgeous its purple lining is.


Almost forgot

I forgot to share this earlier. It is my favorite version of "Oh Danny Boy." It will bring tears to your eyes.

Come on, somebody look at this video and tell me if it made you laugh until you cried! LOL It's a favorite in our house and has us cracking up every time we watch it.

From our home to yours this St. Patrick's Day

May your home be trimmed in love
With joy wound 'round and 'round,
May laughter raise the rafters
And merriment abound...
May your hearth glow with the smiles
of all your kith and kin,
And may heaven grace your humble place
As the good Lord dwells within.

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way --
Good health, good luck and happiness
For today and every day.

Go n-éiri on bóthar leat
(May the road rise up to meet you)

May your neighbor respect you,
Trouble neglect you
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

Níl aon tintéan ma do thintéan féin
(There's no place like home)

May you always find
Blue skies above your head
Shamrocks beneath your feet
Laughter and joy aplenty
Kindness from all you meet
Good friends and kin to miss you
If you ever choose to roam
And a path that's been cleared
By the angels themselves
To carry you safely home.

Slánte agus saol chugat!
(Healthy and long life to you!)

What shall I do to love? Believe.
What shall I do to believe? Love.

Slán agus beannacht leat
(Goodbye and blessings on you)

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hopping down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppity
Easter's on it's way.

(These photos are from last Sunday's St. Patrick's parade.
Sadly, I missed all the parades and events this weekend
because we had a sick leprechaun at home.)


Little pretties

Sometimes I wish I had a little girl.

Or a more daring sense of style.

Look at these beauties.

Pretty, feminine details.

Gorgeous, gauzy fabrics.

Baby doll style.

They are actually vintage negligees or slips.

I think they will make beautiful fairy princess dresses.